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Early voting for City of Martinsburg's police levy begins Saturday

April 26, 2013

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The 10-day early voting period for the special election for the City of Martinsburg’s police levy begins Saturday at 9 a.m.

Martinsburg residents can vote early in the May 11 election at City Hall from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through May 8 (excluding Sundays), according to City Recorder Gena Long, the city’s chief election officer.

Voters are being asked to vote on whether to renew the levy at the current rates.

If renewed, the owner of a residential property valued at $100,000 would receive a $63 tax bill, officials have said. The tax bill for a commercial property valued at $100,000 would be twice that amount.

The Martinsburg Police Department’s roster has swelled from 29 to 50 officers since voters first approved the levy, which first went into effect in 1990. The levy provides funding for nine of the 21 positions that have been added to the department.

The current levy is set to expire June 30, 2014. The excess levy question has to be approved by at least 60 percent of voters to be renewed.

Revenue from the levy is used to pay for the nine officers’ salaries, benefits, uniforms, equipment, vehicles and other items needed to maintain staffing. Any excess funding is used exclusively for police department operations, according to the ordinance.

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— Matthew Umstead

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